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Combat Plantar Fasciitis With These 10 Yoga Poses

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue band beneath the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes. The word “plantar” indicates the sole of the foot and “fascia” is the name of our connective tissue. The suffix -itis means inflammation. Hence, the term plantar fasciitis.

According to the Mayo Clinic, plantar fasciitis is “one of the most common causes of heel pain” since the plantar fascia absorbs the shock of gravity as we stand and move.

While this syndrome is commonly seen in runners, movement-based exercise like dance, yoga, and fitness can also increase the onset of inflammation.


Yoga for Plantar Fasciitis Is a Game Changer

With movement as my biggest passion, I’ve been susceptible to plantar fasciitis in the past. And I’ve tried almost every trick in the book to cure it: taping my foot with kinesiology tape, wearing a medical boot to bed, and rolling out my foot with a frozen water bottle – brrr!

4 Yin Yoga Poses to Soothe Your Sore Feet

I first experienced this intense pain in my foot while training for a half marathon and a podiatrist cautioned me to cool off on my training regimen to avoid making it worse. I finished the half marathon, but the plantar fasciitis stuck around.

But thankfully, yoga for plantar fasciitis came to my aid as I quickly discovered that I could use my beloved yoga practice and a few myofascial release techniques to alleviate the pain and aid in my recovery process.

Yoga for Plantar Fasciitis – Use These 10 Yoga Poses to Alleviate Your Foot Pain:

If you’re experiencing plantar fasciitis, try out the next 10 yoga poses to combat the pain once and for all. Please remember that consistency is key and rest is imperative at this time.

What Is MFR? Here’s Your In-Depth Guide to Self Myofascial Release

Prior to practicing any of these exercises, be sure to consult your doctor.

1. Foot Rolls

Foot Rolls
This simple movement practice includes a bit of myofascial release for the plantar fascia.

Let’s try it:

  • Place one foot on a massage tool or foam roller
  • Transfer some of your body weight onto the tool and begin to roll the tool from your toes to your heel
  • Once you find sensation, pin and hold your foot onto the tool and breathe deeply for three to five rounds of breath
  • Release and repeat as needed

Review of the Awesome Toes! Toe Separators from Yoga Body Naturals (Video)

2. Calf Massage

Calf Massage
This simple myofascial release technique of the calves can help alleviate tension further down the kinetic chain.

Let’s try it:

  • With a massage tool or wooden dowel, vertically roll out the flesh of your calf muscles
  • Once you find sensation, pin and hold the tool onto your calf muscles and breathe deeply
  • Release and repeat as needed


3. Down Dog With Heel Raises and Heel Drops

Down Dog With Heel Raises and Heel Drops
This classical yoga pose doubles as a yoga for plantar fasciitis practice with a slight modification.

Let’s try it:

  • Come into a Downward Facing Dog position on your mat
  • On an inhalation, lift both of your heels toward the sky
  • On an exhalation, lower both of your heels toward the mat
  • Repeat and alternate as needed
  • Release when ready



4. Down Dog With Heel Presses

Down Dog With Heel Presses
Another simple change to Down Dog can help to alleviate painful plantar fasciitis.

Let’s try it:

  • From Downward Facing Dog, place your left toes on the back of your right heel
  • Press gently into your left toes to increase the stretch on your right calf
  • Release and repeat on the other side

Yoga for Feet: Learn 5 Key Benefits Plus How to Do It!

5. Half Splits With Dorsiflexion

Half Splits With Dorsiflexion
Another classic yoga for plantar fasciitis pose, Half Splits with active dorsiflexion of the ankle can stretch out the connective tissue on the soles of your feet.

Let’s try it:

  • Find a Low Lunge position with one foot forward and your opposite knee resting on the mat behind you
  • On an inhalation, press your pelvis forward
  • On an exhalation, draw your hips toward the back of your mat and extend your front leg straight
  • Flex your front foot and dig your heel into the mat to increase the intensity of the stretch
  • Release and repeat on the other side


6. Toe Squeezes With Towel

Toe Squeezes With Towel
This exercise seems so simple, but it can have profound effects on your plantar fascia.

Let’s try it:

  • In either a seated or standing position, place your feet onto a small towel
  • Squeeze your toes together and try to pick up the towel with your toes
  • Release and repeat as needed


7. Standing With Calf Raises

Standing With Calf Raises
Working the calf muscles is a great way to practice yoga for plantar fasciitis.

Let’s try it:

  • In a standing position, place your hands on your hips and begin to lift your heels away from the mat
  • Focus on your breath as you balance and repeat five to 10 times
  • To increase the intensity, try this exercise on a sturdy yoga block or on a staircase step with your heels draped off the edge


8. Yogi Toe Squat

Yogi Toe Squat 2
Warning: This pose can be extremely intense for victims of plantar fasciitis so proceed with caution!

Let’s try it:

  • From a kneeling position, tuck your toes under and sit back onto your heels
  • To modify this pose, place a yoga block between your heels
  • Breathe deeply for three to five rounds of breath


9. Seated Forward Fold With Strap

Seated Forward Fold With Strap
This classic yoga pose can be used as a yoga for plantar fasciitis practice with the help of a yoga strap.

Let’s try it:

  • In a seated position, extend your legs straight out into the space in front of you
  • Place a strap or resistance band beneath the soles of your feet
  • Actively flex both your feet and press the balls of your feet into the strap
  • Resist the press of your feet as you pull the strap toward you
  • Breathe deeply for three to five rounds of breath
  • Release and repeat as needed


10. Legs Up the Wall With Block

Legs Up the Wall With Block
This soothing yoga pose may help alleviate plantar fasciitis pain with the assistance of a yoga block.

Let’s try it:

  • Find a wall and place your seat at the baseboard of it
  • Extend your legs up the wall and place a block at the soles of your feet
  • The block keeps your feet in dorsiflexion, alleviating the pain in your plantar fascia, as you relax your body and surrender


Yoga for Plantar Fasciitis: The Takeaway

Since the study of the anatomical fascial system is still relatively young, new discoveries are happening every day.

So What’s With All the Hype About Fascia? Here Are the Important Things to Know

While we can’t always pinpoint the cause of plantar fasciitis, we can understand our relationship to the connective tissue and how we can avoid stress in the feet going forward.

As with everything, it’s all about balance. Be kind to yourself and do what you can to heal.

All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.

Ready to Experience the Benefits of Myofascial Release for Yourself?

Take this relaxing, deeply restorative self-myofascial release class, exclusively on YA Classes.

Yoga Class
With Allie Geer

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Denelle Numis

Denelle Jarro Numis is an advanced yoga teacher (E-RYT 500) based in San Francisco, California. In addition to her yoga credentials, Denelle has a B.S., an MBA, a love of travel and an impassioned zest for life. To learn more about Denelle check out her website or follow her on Instagram.

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